In 2012, 1,402 North Dakota children were victims of maltreatment as determined by the North Dakota Department of Human Services. This amounts to 9.1 victims for every 1,000 children in the state.
The latest Insights on Children publication from North Dakota KIDS COUNT at North Dakota State University focuses on the rate of child abuse and neglect in North Dakota by county. The report shows that the rate of child abuse and neglect in North Dakota rose consistently in the latter part of the 1990s, from 6.9 per 1,000 in 1998 to a high of 11.2 per 1,000 in 2004. The rate then decreased, dropping steadily to 7.6 per 1,000 in 2010. The trend has now reversed, with the rate increasing to 8.5 per 1,000 in 2011 and 9.1 per 1,000 in 2012.
The negative child outcomes of abuse and neglect are many. In addition, adverse childhood experiences, such as child abuse and neglect, directly impact outcomes later in life. “The effects of child maltreatment can be seen long after the abuse takes place. It can lead to a variety of long-lasting impacts well into adulthood,” said Karen Olson, Program Director for North Dakota KIDS COUNT.
Research shows these negative outcomes can be combated with education, increased awareness, and community engagement. Moreover, protective factors have been identified to strengthen the prevention and treatment outcomes that include: parental resilience, social connections, stable family relationships, parental employment, and a variety of other factors. Overall, lowering the rate of child abuse and neglect in North Dakota will improve child outcomes, and will likely result in an overall healthier North Dakota.
More information about child abuse prevention measures is available from Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota at http://www.pcand.org and the North Dakota Child Protection Program through the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ website, http://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/childfamily/cps/.